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Migration as an Adaptation Strategy and Its Consequences on Coastal Society: Experience from Bangladesh

[conference paper]

Mallick, Bishawjit

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Corporate Editor Universität Bielefeld, Fak. für Soziologie, Centre on Migration, Citizenship and Development (COMCAD)
Abstract "In this article I investigated the complex relationship between disasters, migration and poverty in a case study carried out in one of the poorest and most disaster-prone countries in the world. The focus was set on individual household and community adaptation strategies. Through a literature review in this field I have developed and tested my own analytical model. In an extensive field survey, which was carried out in the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh, I asked around 280 residents who were affected by cyclone Aila in 2009. Original in this study is the explicit testing of the effectiveness of adaptive coping strategies to reduce the damage cost and its consequences to the social structural changes. Here, I considered ‘migration’ as a strategic step to cope with the adverse effect of cyclone Aila. In this study, I found that affected people act as hunters towards the relief materials immediately after the cyclone. When the relief programme was closed, male members of the family started moving towards nearer cities to find an income. Most of them started to pull rickshaws or to work as labourer in industries. They live at slum-environment to accumulate more money for their dependants; their out-migration from the family creates more social problems for their spouse as well. Accordingly, their spouse should take care of other family members and children. In most of the cases, those dependants move towards cities and and they also become migrants and start working there. However, it is evident that a lot of people do not bring their family and children and get married again. It introduces changes in local social structure. Furthermore, based on the income and asset distribution at the community level, this study developed societal cluster of migration and, correlating with previous disaster and census data, it introduces a new methodological tool for analysing disaster-migration nexus." [author's abstract]
Keywords migration; Bangladesh; natural disaster; survival strategy; adaptation; environmental damage; climate change; conflict potential; poverty; rural-urban migration; displacement; social effects; developing country; South Asia
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Ecology, Environment
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
City Bielefeld
Page/Pages 24 p.
Series COMCAD Working Papers, 96
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne